Articles concerning: currency

Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer digital currency, operates without the involvement of traditional financial institutions and provides a direct digital alternative to physical currencies and commodities. Governments worldwide generally do not yet see it and other digital currencies as a destabilizing "threat," and some scholars have argued that it may best be seen as a speculative investment. Bitcoin has certainly had its ups and downs: As of April 1, 2015, its value stood at $242 per bitcoin, after a Jan. 14 low of $177 and a March 11 high of $296.

The costs and risks of maintaining the eurozone system are already immense and rising. So is an exit possible? Intuitively, the exit from the euro should be as easy as the entrance. Joining and leaving the club should be equally simple. Leaving is just undoing what was done before. Indeed, many popular articles discuss the prospects of an exit of countries such as Greece or Germany. However, other voices have rightly argued that there are important exit problems.

The problems of the eurozone are ultimately malinvestments. In Greece these days the struggle continues about who will ultimately foot the bill for these investments. During the early 2000s an expansionary monetary policy lowered interest rates artificially. Entrepreneurs financed investment projects that only looked profitable due to the low interest rates but were not sustained by real savings. Housing bubbles and consumption booms developed in the periphery.

John Maynard Keynes thought he had pretty well killed gold as a monetary standard back in the 1930s. Governments of the world did their best to help him. It took longer than they thought. Gold in the money survived all the way to Nixon, and it was he who finally drove the stake in once and for all. That was supposed to be the end of it, and the beginning of the glorious new age of paper prosperity.

In September 2010, a short time before the international financial summit of the Group of Twenty (G20) took place in South Korea, Brazilian finance minister Guido Mantega declared that the world is experiencing a "currency war" where "devaluing currencies artificially is a global strategy."

By announcing the outbreak of a "currency war," Mantega wanted to draw attention to the problems caused by the ongoing exchange-rate manipulations that governments put in place in order to gain economic advantages. In this sense, "currency war" denotes the conflict among nations that arises from the deliberate manipulation of the exchange rate in order to gain international competitiveness by way of currency devaluation.

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